Democracy Now! February 20, 2003

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Democracy Now! February 20, 2003
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Michigan High School student is sent home for wearing a T-shirt with a picture of President Bush and the caption International Terrorist : he ll give us his first nationally broadcast interview; The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm : as the Pentagon prepares to deploy journalists with troops preparing to invade Iraq, as part of its new PR campaign, we go back in time to the Pentagon propaganda and censorship in the first Gulf War; Peace protests continue despite President Bush s dismissal of the anti-war movement as a mere focus group

9:00-9:01 Billboards 9:01-9:06: Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:10: On Tuesday President Bush was asked to address the massive anti-war protests. He said: Democracy is a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion. I welcome people's right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently some of the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace you know, size of protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group. Tape: President George W. Bush, recorded February 18, 2003 But Protests against George Bush s plans to launch a first-strike attack on Iraq continue. In Seattle, 8 people blocked traffic on a commuter bridge across Lake Washington for half an hour on Tuesday morning. They were all arrested. Activists say over 50,000 people attended the anti-war demonstration in Seattle on Feb. 15th. Also Tuesday, in Denmark, three Greenpeace activists were arrested after protesting on the rooftops of the Danish parliament building against Copenhagen's pro-US policy on Iraq. The demonstrators unfurled a banner atop the Christiansborg Palace featuring a caricature of President Bush juggling weapons of mass destruction with a stunned Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen looking on with a naive smile. A caption read "Brothers in Arms". Meanwhile: * Italy s main union is threatening to launch a potentially crippling general strike if there is an attack on iraq even if it is backed by the UN Security Council. * 10,000 marched in the streets of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, and * 5,000 students demonstrated in two Egyptian universities And in Houston, police arrested two members of Houston Students For Peace after they hung an anti-war banner over a local highway yesterday morning. And on Tuesday, a group of citizens rallied outside Houston City Hall to lobby City Council members to pass a resolution against war in Iraq. To date the Council has not voted. Yesterday we spoke with organizer Jim Essig who gave us an update on why the Council may be hesitant to joining the 100 cities and counties who have passed similar resolutions. Tape: Jim Essig, Houston peace activist 9:10-9:20: A Dearborn High School student was sent home from school earlier this week for wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt. The T-shirt shows a picture of President Bush and is emblazoned with the caption International Terrorist. 16-year-old Brett Barber said he wore the T-shirt as part of a presentation to his English class. His assignment: write a compare and contrast essay. He compared and contrasted President Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Repeated calls to Dearborn High principal Judith Coebly were not returned. But The Detroit News reports school officials told 16-year-old Bretton Barber the T-shirt could spark tensions in a district where more than 50% of students are Arab-American. The ACLU of Michigan last night decided to take the case. We re joined right now by Brett Barber. This is his first national radio or TV interview. Guest: Bretton Barber, Dearborn High School student who was sent home from school for wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Bush and a caption International Terrorist Guest: Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan ACLU Contact: 9:20-9:21 One-Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40: CNN is reporting the Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to allow more than 500 news reporters and photographers to accompany U.S. troops as they prepare to invade Iraq. By the end of this week, more than 200 news organizations have to notify the Pentagon whether they will accept invitations to QUOTE "embed" with U.S. troops. The Pentagon s move follows criticism that U.S. reporters were denied access to cover the war in Afghanistan. But CNN is not reporting on the specific terms of the deal. Specifically, CNN is making no mention of whether the military will censor the journalists reports. The conservative Weekly Standard admits QUOTE: there will be some censorship for sure. The Pentagon has all but admitted its new attitude towards the press is part of an aggressive strategy to deploy the media as part of a public relations campaign. According to the Weekly Standard, the military wants positive stories about the grit and resolve of its troops. Well today on Democracy Now! we go back in time, to the last Gulf War with the last Bush administration. Then, news reports were subjected to a military censor, and reporters were forced to do their job while being accompanied by a Pentagon public relations officer. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The first Bush administration deployed various propaganda tactics to build congressional and United Nations support for war. In an audio-visual presentation at the United Nations Security Council, the Bush administration charged that Iraqi soldiers in occupied-Kuwait had pulled babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals, and stolen the incubators. The false propaganda wasn t completely refuted until well after the Gulf War ended. In another tactic, the Pentagon claimed there was a massive Iraqi military buildup on the Saudi Arabian border, and that they had military satellite photos to prove it. But they refused to release the photos. The St. Petersburg Times published commercial satellite photos of the region from that time, and they showed no Iraqi troops along the Kuwait-Saudi Arabia border. The tactics worked. Congress and the U.N. Security Council both backed the war. More than six hundred thousand US soldiers were deployed, some ninety thousand tons of bombs were dropped and more than 200,000 Iraqis were killed. The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm is a documentary by filmmakers Audrey Brohy and Gerard Ungerman. It tells the real story behind that war. It traces the illegal arming of Iraq by the US government. It traces the US use of depleted uranium, which many believe caused the sickening of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and US soldiers. It questions the Pentagon s propaganda. And it suggests the US government may have been more interested in Iraq s oil reserves the second largest in the world than ridding the world of an evil dictator. One US official described the oil fields as too important to be left to Arabs. Hidden Wars of Desert Storm is the culmination of a two-year investigation by the filmmakers. It answers questions about the Persian Gulf War using documents never before seen on television and backed by interviews with Desert-Storm Commander General Norman Schwarzkopf, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former UN Iraq Program Director Dennis Halliday, former chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and many others. Tape: Hidden Wars of Desert Storm, directed by Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy, and narrated by John Hurt. Contact: 9:40-9:41 One-Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 HIDDEN WARS OF DESERT STORM, CONT D 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits For a copy of today s program, call 1 (800) 881 2359.

Date Recorded on: 
February 20, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
February 20, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., February 20, 2003
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